PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) had given the Palawan provincial government and its 23 municipalities copies of a map they could use to manage watersheds, determine flood-prone areas, and prepare for disasters.

Provincial Information Officer Gil Acosta, Jr. said Wednesday that the maps were turned over by the DOST through the Development of the Philippine Hydrological Dataset Watersheds from LiDAR Surveys (PHDWLS) on November 10.

“The provincial government and the LGUs (local government units) received maps that employed the Phil-LiDAR 2 technology to identify watersheds for their management and further protection, and that can be used to prepare for floods,” Acosta said.

Phil-LiDAR 2 supplements current programs of national government agencies and helps LGUs in mapping the Philippines’ natural resources.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging, a remote sensing system that employs light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges – variable distances – to the Earth.”

The light pulses, when combined with other data recorded by the airborne system, generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.

Acosta said with the maps, mapping experts in Palawan can examine natural and man-made environments with precision and flexibility to make models for use in geographic information systems (GIS), especially focusing on the management and control of watersheds.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) officer in charge Zaldy Ablaña said the maps could also assist the provincial government and the LGUs in planning and preparing emergency response operations when there are catastrophes.

“Municipalities can use this map to plan and prepare for times of calamities, like flooding,” he said. (PNA)